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Nirmala Sitharaman Supports Women Entrepreneurs, Highlights Increase in Women on Company Boards

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman supports women entrepreneurs, highlighting the increase in women on company boards and the government's supportive policies. Swiggy's 'She the Change' initiative also aims to empower women in entrepreneurship.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has emphasized the growing presence of women in leadership positions, noting that more women are not only running startups but also filling positions on company boards.

Increase in Women on Company Boards

Speaking at the launch of the 'She the Change' initiative by Swiggy, Sitharaman highlighted that while in 2018, only 13.8% of women were reaching company boards, this figure has now risen to 18.3%. She also mentioned that among the 111 unicorns created in India, 20 of them are women-led startups.

Supportive Policies for Women Entrepreneurs

Sitharaman praised the women-centric policies implemented by the government, citing that 80% of the funds allocated under the Stand Up India Scheme have been directed towards women. The Stand Up India Scheme, launched in 2016, aims to encourage bank branches to offer loans to individuals from scheduled castes and tribes, as well as women, to start new businesses with a focus on sustainability. She also mentioned that nearly 10% of the Small Industries Development Bank of India's (SIDBI) fund of funds is reserved to support women-backed startups.

PM Mudra Scheme and Women Empowerment

The minister noted that 70% of the loans sanctioned under the PM Mudra Scheme have been allocated to women, indicating the significant number of women beneficiaries under the scheme. The PM Mudra Scheme provides collateral-free loans to encourage self-employment.

Public Procurement Policy and Women-Owned Businesses

Sitharaman highlighted the Public Procurement Policy, which mandates the government to procure at least 3% of its annual purchases from women-owned businesses. This policy aims to support and promote women-owned enterprises by directing government procurement towards them.

Swiggy's Women Entrepreneurship Initiative

Swiggy announced its initiative, 'She The Change – From Vision to Venture,' aimed at recognizing and celebrating the impact of food delivery platforms in nurturing and encouraging women's entrepreneurship in the country. The food delivery firm currently hosts over 50,000 women-run restaurants on its platform, generating approximately 300,000 jobs.

Financial Performance of Swiggy

Despite incurring a net loss of INR 4,179.3 crore in FY23, an increase from INR 3,628.9 crore in the previous financial year, Swiggy's operating revenue saw a significant jump of over 40% to INR 8,264.4 crore. This increase was attributed to the company's scaling up of its quick commerce vertical, Swiggy Instamart, and other services like Swiggy Genie and Minis store.